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  • From the original article on the sign up numbers- 1 in 5 did not pay premiums and thus do not actually have insurance so the real number of sign ups is not 8 million but 6.4 million which is below the 7.1 million target number. The number of young enrollees is also below optimum so the death spiral is now a very real threat. This becomes even more likely if the number of people paying tend to be younger (who have fewer resources to be able to afford the tax err premiums). The wealth crushing nature of the whole set up is also likely to chase them out of the market place over time. Massive student debt, no real job prospects, enforced tithes to corporate machines to underwrite mom and dads health problems... what could possibly go wrong...

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    • JAD,

      Obama's mission accomplished statement reminds me of Bush's after the initial stage of the Iraq war. Big problems still lurk in the shadows.

      This smacks of political theater to counter the GOP's biggest issue going into the fall congressional elections. Eight million signups is good on the face of it, but the ultimate success of Obamacare is far from known.

      There are minefields yet to be overcome. A few were mentioned in the Wash Post article you posted.

      Will people who sign up for Obamacare be reliable premium payers? So far, it appears 20% are not.
      it's the first milestone, and frankly the most difficult to get to. having survived the initial political attack, followed by the Supreme Court challenge, and the pure technical/numbers challenges...i think if a military analogy comes to mind, it's that of Anzio, if not D-Day.

      there are still badly broken exchanges out there (maryland, for instance) and of course, the governors blocking medicaid expansion. those are going to be growth areas in the future. the minefields in comparison look small, compared to what came before.
      There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

      Comment


      • z,

        From the original article on the sign up numbers- 1 in 5 did not pay premiums and thus do not actually have insurance so the real number of sign ups is not 8 million but 6.4 million which is below the 7.1 million target number. The number of young enrollees is also below optimum so the death spiral is now a very real threat.
        come, now. "now a very real threat"? compared to what, last fall, where NO ONE thought it was going to even get CLOSE to 6.4 million, let alone 8 million? do you seriously think this is going to collapse by next year? the trend-lines are not in your favor, to put it lightly.

        Massive student debt, no real job prospects, enforced tithes to corporate machines to underwrite mom and dads health problems
        frankly the first two have a far worse effect on the pocketbooks of young people than the latter.

        speaking of "enforced tithes", i consider THIS enforced tithes:

        Our health spending problem is all about prices - These 15 charts show our health care prices are totally insane - Vox
        There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

        Comment


        • Originally posted by astralis View Post
          z,


          come, now. "now a very real threat"? compared to what, last fall, where NO ONE thought it was going to even get CLOSE to 6.4 million, let alone 8 million? do you seriously think this is going to collapse by next year? the trend-lines are not in your favor, to put it lightly.
          If the tide of history is against Obamacare why is Obama having the way data is collected changed at the very moment the data under the old system is needed for an apples to apples comparison.


          frankly the first two have a far worse effect on the pocketbooks of young people than the latter.
          Maybe, that depends on both the amount they have to pay each month on the student loans vs the job they have and what the premium they have to pay is.

          Obamacare does nothing to fix that. it enshrines corporate profits of 9% into law. You cost me $100 this year so next year you owe me $109. The only way kleptocratic profit safeguards control costs is by encouraging people not to delay seeking treatment. But that only shifts and compounds the costs to future dates.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by astralis View Post
            JAD,



            it's the first milestone, and frankly the most difficult to get to. having survived the initial political attack, followed by the Supreme Court challenge, and the pure technical/numbers challenges...i think if a military analogy comes to mind, it's that of Anzio, if not D-Day.
            IMO, the number of sign-ups satisfies the American penchant for ascribing success to numbers, but in no way affirms the ultimate success of Obamacare. It represents hopeful people who are just beginning to find out whether their hopes will materialize. But even if their hopes are fulfilled, the financial side of Obamacare is, IMO, going to slam into the reality that the cost to the government will grow immense in time. I try to ignore the squabbles over this or that aspect of Obamacare and just look at what it's going to take to keep it running in time. I know you've argued that the premiums people will pay will cover most of the cost of medical care. But I can't help but wonder about the 20 million and up Americans who cannot afford an actuarial-determined premium, but instead must depend on direct government subsidies or tax credits? It doesn't take a genius to see that free or cheaper for some people means not-free and more expensive for others, unless of course a middle man, e.g., government steps in to cover the shortfall. How else is the insurance industry going to make a profit and doctors maintain their high income? A non-profit, single payer system would be better than this tangle of regulations and administrative overhead.



            there are still badly broken exchanges out there (maryland, for instance) and of course, the governors blocking medicaid expansion. those are going to be growth areas in the future. the minefields in comparison look small, compared to what came before.
            Virginia is fighting medicare expansion because of what it sees down the road after the Federal government cuts its medicare funding to the states...massive tax increases..
            To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

            Comment


            • JAD,

              But even if their hopes are fulfilled, the financial side of Obamacare is, IMO, going to slam into the reality that the cost to the government will grow immense in time.
              i don't see that being the case in other countries. Switzerland is probably the closest analogue, and after enacting their own healthcare reform saw their healthcare costs go down significantly.

              not as significantly as those countries with a single-payer system, i agree...but i think we both know which party doesn't like that idea.

              A non-profit, single payer system would be better than this tangle of regulations and administrative overhead.
              in this case it's a bit of a kludge because a portion of the healthcare/insurance costs are transferred onto the government (subsidies for low-income folks, expansion of medicare), a portion of it is transferred to private spending (people who now have to buy insurance), and a portion of it is absorbed by the insurance companies. in the better-run state exchanges (CA for instance), there is quite a bit of competition, which means an incentive by insurance companies to reduce costs and negotiate with drug companies, for instance.

              either way past historical/international experience demonstrates a reduction in the overall healthcare spending, which constitutes an invisible, highly-inflating tax.
              Last edited by astralis; 21 Apr 14,, 15:41.
              There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

              Comment


              • By protecting profits and artificially hiding the costs Obamacare does very little to control costs. In fact costs are rising both per policy and per cost to the tax payer. The number of uninsured is likely growing not shrnking- by no objective measure has this worked.

                Comment


                • some evidence behind any of these assertions would be nice.
                  There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

                  Comment


                  • Rising costs

                    Study: Insurance costs to soar under Obamacare - CBS News

                    Cost to taxpayers

                    Obamacare

                    Not really helping the uninsured

                    How Well Is Obamacare Covering The Uninsured? A Glass Half Empty Moment - Forbes

                    Comment


                    • z,

                      are you reading your own evidence?

                      The number of uninsured is likely growing not shrnking
                      from the Forbes article you posted:

                      I’m willing to split the difference and say that this feature of Obamacare reduced the number of uninsured young adults by 1.6 million, meaning the net reduction in uninsured across the entire population is 7.1 million.
                      moreover the official enrollment numbers won't be known until the end of 2014. moving on...

                      In fact costs are rising both per policy and per cost to the tax payer
                      your heritage article states this:

                      Another major source of funding for Obamacare’s new entitlement spending comes from Medicare. Obamacare reduces Medicare reimbursements by an estimated $716 billion from 2013 to 2022, and that money is counted by the CBO as an offset for some of the law’s new spending.
                      However, these “savings” are highly unlikely to accrue in reality because of the severe impact these payment reductions would have on seniors’ ability to access care. The Medicare Trustees project that if the cuts went into effect, 15 percent of Medicare Part A providers, such as hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and hospices, would become unprofitable and likely stop seeing Medicare beneficiaries by 2019, with this percentage increasing to about 25 percent in 2030 and 40 percent by 2050.[7]
                      As the trustees point out, “Under such circumstances, lawmakers might feel substantial pressure to override the productivity adjustments, much as they have done to prevent reductions in physician payment rates.”[8]
                      Of course, while overriding these cuts would help protect Medicare beneficiaries’ access to care, it would leave that much more of Obamacare unpaid.
                      in short, to make the argument that the ACA would not save money, the Heritage researcher has to theorize that the cost-saving portions of the ACA would be eliminated. that's an -assumption-, not a fact.

                      moreover the latest CBO projects are that it will cost less, both to the taxpayer and to the government, than originally expected based on existing trends.

                      Lower premiums (yes, really) drive down Obamacare’s expected costs, CBO says

                      finally, "rising costs".

                      the CBS editorial from last fall you cite actually references the Manhattan Institute's Avik Roy.

                      since then Roy's figures have been shredded based on how he made his "comparison"; see Ezra Klein writing about this.

                      The shocking truth about Obamacare’s rate shock

                      bottom line, Roy cites the cheapest cut-rate insurance for healthy people to the cheapest state exchange plan that covers everyone, and somehow leaves out a comparison of what it is the insurance will cover.
                      Last edited by astralis; 22 Apr 14,, 01:42.
                      There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

                      Comment


                      • Why is it that Obama is trying to remove his name out of it? He tells his advisers, associates and media in general not to call it Obamacare anymore. He insists it should be called Affordable Care Act. He hinted that Violators might see IRS agents sifting through their personal belongings. What gives?

                        Sarcasm switch off now.

                        Comment


                        • A Washington Post op-ed

                          Thanks to Jonathan Gruber for revealing Obamacare deception
                          By Marc A. Thiessen November 17
                          Democrats are desperately distancing themselves from Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber. He “never worked on our staff,” President Obama said this weekend in Brisbane, Australia, (even though Gruber was paid almost $400,000 by his administration, is the intellectual author of the individual mandate and met in the Oval Office with Obama and the head of the Congressional Budget Office to pore over the bill). “I don’t know who he is,” Nancy Pelosi declared on Capitol Hill (even though she repeatedly cited him by name during the Obamacare debate).

                          The reason Democrats are running from Gruber is the same reason conservatives should be thanking him: Gruber has exposed what liberals really think of the American people.

                          As of this weekend, there are now seven Gruber videos, in which he mocks the “stupidity” of American voters and boasts of the Obama administration’s ability to take advantage of it. In a new video that surfaced Friday, Gruber explains that the Obama administration passed the so-called “Cadillac tax” on high-value employer health plans “by mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people, when we know it’s a tax on people who hold these insurance plans.” Americans would not support a tax on individuals, so “We just tax the insurance companies, they pass on the higher prices . . . it ends up being the same thing.” The ruse, Gruber says, was “a very clever . . . basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.”

                          In another video, Gruber boasts about how the Obama administration fooled Americans into paying to cover the uninsured by using sleight of hand, focusing on their concern over rising health costs. “Barack Obama’s not a stupid man, okay? He knew when he was running for president that quite frankly the American public doesn’t actually care that much about the uninsured. . . . What the American public cares about is costs. And that’s why even though the bill that they made is 90 percent health insurance coverage and 10 percent about cost control, all you ever hear people talk about is cost control.”

                          In yet another video, Gruber says the Obama administration knew the individual mandate was a tax, but that if Americans knew the truth “the bill dies.” So the bill “was written in a tortured way to make sure [the Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes.” He adds that “the lack of transparency is a huge political advantage” and that “the stupidity of the American voter . . . was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”

                          In this CSPAN clip from March 2010, economist Jonathan Gruber talks about cost control of health care and why the public focused on that aspect of the Affordable Care Act. (CSPAN)
                          President Obama insists none of this represents the views of his administration. Asked in Australia whether he had intentionally misled the American people to get the law passed, Obama replied curtly, “No, I did not.”

                          Yes, he did. Put aside his now infamous lie of the year in 2013 that “if you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan.” Obama also insisted repeatedly that the individual mandate “is absolutely not a tax increase.” In a 2009 interview with ABC News, George Stephanopoulos pressed him on it no less than five times. He even read Obama the definition of “tax” from Webster’s dictionary. Obama was adamant: “My critics say everything is a tax increase. . . . I absolutely reject that notion.”

                          Then, after Obamacare passed, his administration cynically turned around and argued before the Supreme Court that it was in fact a tax. At one point, Justice Stephen Breyer asked Obama’s solicitor general, Donald Verrilli, “Why do you keep saying tax?,” drawing peals of laughter.

                          The reason he called it a tax is because — as Jonathan Gruber now admits — members of the Obama team knew all along that it was a tax. They intentionally deceived Americans about it because if they had called it a tax, Obamacare would never have become law.

                          It’s one thing for Americans to suspect that their president lies to them. It’s quite another to hear a key Obama adviser boast of it.

                          So thank you, Jonathan Gruber. We now know how the Obama left sees the American people. We are like children who don’t understand what is best for us. We need experts such as Jonathan Gruber to make decisions for us. If we are too “stupid” to agree with them, they can use our ignorance to deceive us and enact policies we would never otherwise support. And if we’re too stupid to catch the deception, well, that’s our problem. Link
                          Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                          Comment


                          • We now know how the Obama left sees the American people. We are like children who don’t understand what is best for us.
                            frankly this is the essence of the technocratic left, which i sympathize with. americans, or for that matter ANY large group of people, deal very poorly with long-term outcomes. that's just human psychology.

                            note that the Right also had its version of this (which is why their rallying cry used to be 'we are a representative republic, not a democracy'). it's only in the last five years or so that it's embraced conservative populism, making it more akin to the old Left in its methods if not its goals.
                            There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

                            Comment


                            • We now know how the Obama left sees the American people. We are like children who don’t understand what is best for us.
                              Hate to say it and I agree with astralis that any large group of people, here average Americans, deal poorly with long term outcomes much less being able to make a long term plan.

                              Comment


                              • Yet oddly enough they've managed to muddle through without an elite deliberately misleading them. I think the line crossed here is the difference between 'keeping things simple' (which I do not personally agree is necessary) and deliberately lying for personal gain, which is what occurred here.
                                In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

                                Leibniz

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